Tele2 forged a machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) partnership with global IT services provider HCL Technologies with the aim of exploiting the growing demand for such services in Europe.
The Sweden-headquartered operator initially plans to develop wireless healthcare services for the region, comprising smartphone-based remote patient monitoring. An HCL Technologies statement also reveals that the companies plan to work together to cut the cost of deploying IoT and M2M services.
Rami Avidan, commercial director at Tele2 M2M Global Solutions, said the partnership will enable the operator to "tap into the lucrative healthcare vertical with an extremely competitive offering," by leveraging HCL's "strong M2M and IoT capabilities."
The agreement will see HCL handle implementation, integration, rollout and ongoing support of M2M and IoT services. The company will also take care of device connectivity. Tele2's contribution is its M2M and IoT Control Centre connectivity platform.
HCL Technologies SVP Sukamal Banerjee said the partnership will enable it to develop "new and exciting M2M and IoT opportunities" for Europe, and that Tele2's dedicated M2M business unit "demonstrates its clear commitment to this market".
Tele2's move is the latest in a raft of announcements around M2M and IoT by European operators in recent weeks.
Vodafone, for example, in February detailed plans to launch a low-cost technology to connect IoT devices with very low power and bandwidth demands. Telefónica also got in on the act, becoming an investor in France-based IoT start up Sigfox, a provider of low-energy and low-cost wireless networks.
Research company IDC recently predicted that the value of the IoT market in central and eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa (CEMA) region would exceed $50 billion (€45.5 billion) by 2018, and that the number of autonomous devices connected to networks would hit around 2 billion that year.
Keith Mallinson, founder of consultancy WiseHarbor, in January noted that operators must implement entire M2M and IoT solutions to leverage the potential revenue gains each sector offers.
- see this HCL Technology announcement
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